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The Longboard: Lazy man's skateboard or extreme sports tool? 

Can't skateboard? Why not try the longboard!

Can't ollie or kick flip or ride more than a few yards on a skateboard without endangering yourself or others? You might want to try a longboard, the skateboard's longer (duh), easier, smoother cousin. You're not going to impress anyone with tricks; this board is just for cruising and is a unexpectedly efficient mode of transportation.

Katie Patterson owns Aspect Board Shop, the westside Bend skate shop with more than 50 different longboards on its walls. She says the longboards have expanded the skateboarding clientele, bringing in folks looking for a mellower ride than the traditional skateboard. She also says they're more versatile.

"The beauty of the longboard, [is that] the roads don't have to be as smooth. There can be a few rocks and it won't matter," says Patterson.

But let's say that you've acquired a longboard and are looking for a way to make use of those pesky nards of steel with which you've been blessed. Here's something you should know: longboards can go super damn fast (with you aboard), if you're up for it

Patterson wouldn't, however, give up some of the best places to ride a longboard in Bend. Thankfully, other clandestine sources did give us some hints.

So, I'll go ahead and give some pointers and you can figure it out for yourself. Head out west and look for newly paved roads that run through a resort neighborhood that hasn't been built yet. I'm not going to tell you the name, but I checked out the pavement and it's nice - virtually unblemished, actually.

This smooth pavement, coupled with plenty of incline make for optimal longboarding conditions, allowing you to carve across the ground like you're surfing. Or sort of like you're surfing, at least. And yeah, we know you're hardcore, but wear a damn helmet, would ya? Longboarders have been known to hit super-high speeds, and they don't have any brakes.

Or... you could just coast on your board to work. Depends on those aforementioned nards of steel.

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